Courtesy of fourthamendment.com here are links to three law review articles which discuss law enforcement surfing of computers.
Andrew Vahid Moshirnia, Separating Hard Fact from Hard Drive: a Solution For Plain View Doctrine in the Digital Domain, 23 Harv. J. L. & Tech. 609 (2010)
R. Bruce Wells, The Fog of Cloud Computing: Fourth Amendment Issues Raised by the Blurring of Online and Offline Content, 12 J. Const. L. 223 (2009)
Lily R. Robinton, Courting Chaos: Conflicting Guidance from Courts Highlights the Need for Clearer Rules to Govern the Search and Seizure of Digital Evidence, 12 Yale J.L. & Tech. 311 (2010).
And, this happens so frequently it’s not funny.
Moving computer mouse during protective sweep to look at computer was unreasonable
A FedEx package with drugs was shipped from Oakland to Anchorage, and FedEx discovered that the package contained drugs, and the police were called in. A controlled delivery was conducted, and the package was delivered and then moved from one place to another. The police followed and secured the premises where the package moved. This was reasonable underMcArthur. However, during the protective sweep, officers moved the mouse on the house computer to activate the screen and saw they were looking at the FedEx website and the tracking number of the package. That exceeded the protective sweep. United States v. Lawson, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21596 (D. Alaska March 3, 2011):